Thanks again for stopping by our weekly Notre Dame chat today. Lots of great questions, all of which can be found here.
Giancarlo Toffoli (St Jean, Canada): Mr. Fortuna,I will be the first to admit I did not have and do not have much faith in this team. In spite of their thrilling win last Saturday evenng against a superior on paper Spartan team, I feel they are due for a come uppance this coming weekend in South Bend. This is an ideal let down game and the Wolverines will walk out of Notre Dame stadium like the visitors did last weekend in East Lansing, Michigan. What do you think?
Matt Fortuna (2:01 PM): Giancarlo, I can see a ND fan's concern. The Irish have had Michigan beat three years in a row before giving up a game-winning score late. But ND is also riding the confidence of a top-10 road night win and its first 3-0 start since 2002. Add in the taste of humble pie they got from last year's night game letdown, and I don't think ND loses this one.
Brian (Raleigh): Hi Matt! First off, please acknowledge that I submitted Ben Turk for most-improved from last year BEFORE the MSU game. He was huge! But besides that, I went back and watched last season's game against UM. I'm worried. Much more so than I was against MSU. While ND did their (well-documented) self-destruction, Michigan also played poorly, especially early-on. There were several dropped passes that led to a deceptive performance by the defense. Michigan is more balanced than Sparty and has more talent on offense. The defense will win this game, we're going to have to score points. Does that match your perspective and recollection?
Matt Fortuna (2:09 PM): Brian, I think MSU is superior to Michigan in every area but QB and WR, which are obviously big ones. But yes, the defense will win this game, and the offense can't mess it up by turning the ball over. Seriously, four TOs (the final was on special teams) and it still takes a miracle final drive to lose?
Andy (San Antonion, TX): Hey Matt! What'st the chance we see Amir Carlise this weekend? There are only so many touches back there with Cierre, Cam, Theo and George. Thanks!
Matt Fortuna (2:21 PM): Andy, you probably answered the question yourself. Carlisle didn't travel last week so I'd imagine he's still very far behind, and I think a redshirt could end up being the case this season. Tough break for ND, which got the transfer exemption for him to be eligible this season.
Steve (Ohio): Matt, was MSU overrated? I noticed they had won 15 straight and 4 over michigan.....was it big? or is that just an average team in MSU?
Matt Fortuna (2:48 PM): Steve, I know I severely overestimated them, but the sound way in which ND beat MSU has to be pleasing for you guys. The Spartans are young and will get much better though, and should probably still be favored in the Big Ten.